Testimonials — See what our teachers are saying about experience with STELR

What do teachers say?

Teachers involved in the pilot program in their schools have identified many significant benefits arising out of the inquiry-based learning in the STELR program. They included:

  • A definite increase in the level of students’ engagement with the material – this included more class discussion and willingness of students to contribute to discussions, as well as increased engagement with practical activities.
  • More opportunities to connect what students were learning with current issues in the media and in their daily lives. Students gained insights into how science works in the real world.
  • The opportunity for teachers to work as a team, to gain a broader understanding of the applications of science, and to undertake inquiry-based learning on a much larger scale than their time and resources would normally allow.

Listen to one teacher's views of the STELR program in this short clip taken from an Orica STELR video.


 At the end of 2013, teachers from STELR schools were invited to complete an on-line survey to evaluate whether or not STELR was achieving its aims. 

The results indicate: 

  • Boys and girls are more engaged with the STELR modules compared with regular science topics. 
  • Over 50% of schools reported an increase in students studying science at year 11. One school reported a 100% increase in students studying physics at year 11. 
  • Teachers teaching 'out of field' are more confident teaching the STELR modules. 
  • Students are more aware of what is involved in engineering and technological careers and the study pathways necessary to gain access to these careers. 
  • The science literacy of students has increased in over 80% of schools. 

View the results of the STELR Teacher Satisfaction Survey from the 2013-14  here.

Teacher responses

“The students are engaged from the very first day of the program to the end - often asking if we can continue it when we finish. It has encouraged a great deal of interest in science for our students with a record number enrolling in VCE science subjects after completing this program in Year 10. The resources are well designed and easy to use and the teacher instructions mean teachers with limited physics experience are easily able to guide the students through the program.
STELR has provided a practical element to maths and science through the design and technology. The learning environment and problem solving situations has promoted senior maths and science and further shown the relevance to related maths and science careers. Excellent program with great resources and easy to use equipment.
— Government city school SA
Excellent - inquiry based investigation of energy. The students enjoyed the challenges and it certainly made teaching easier with less preparation and a higher level of engagement from the students.
— Girls’ school VIC
The equipment is easy to use and the variety of ways it can be applied is useful in not just year 9. We have also used modified sections for our primary school as well. We will be keeping the program for the indefinite future!
Although students may not accredit completing STELR with the reasons they are studying physics, many students (girls) are now see the application of the subject and are considering engineering as a real possibility.
— Girls’ school VIC
Program used at Yr. 8 level this year. Staff enjoyed playing with the kits as much as students. Enabled lots of experiments to be conducted at school easily. Student engagement was improved (compared to 2012 when we ‘jerry’ built equipment and tried to make it work) the kits look good and work really well. Stimulated lots of discussion about how to achieve experimental results using the kits. Staff felt comfortable using the kits as the explanations in the staff and student book were easy to understand and re explain to students. Easy to manage in the classroom with the segments in the kits. 250 students, 15 sessions on energy x 6 classes - nothing broken.....
The STELR materials are excellent and students enjoy working with them. They are good for introducing understanding of the scientific inquiry process as well as energy, alternative energy sources and careers and the ways scientists work. We will continue to work with STELR and utilise the materials from 7 to 10 and hopefully beyond into years 11/12. It was a great success and students really enjoyed working with the materials and the activities.
— Girls’ school TAS
Excellent program - it should be mandatory in all schools
— Rural government school NSW